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Spanish studies in Barcelona

Sian Davies
8 weeks in Barcelona
Standard Course

I have always loved the Spanish language and I wanted to become more fluent.  I also thought that improving my Spanish would help me in the future for job opportunities in the Travel and Tourism sector.

I found CESA through my college in Bristol and decided to give you a call. Barcelona had always been a place I wanted to visit – so I was pretty fixed on it as my location choice.
CESA staff talked me through the whole Catalan language situation, for which I was grateful otherwise I wouldn’t have thought about this aspect at all.  I decided that Barcelona was still my first choice though, so that’s where I went!

My Spanish improved immensely after just 8 weeks Spanish course in Barcelona.  If I’m honest though I should have taken CESA’s advice and stayed with hosts a/ to get more first-hand experience of Spanish culture and conversation and b/ to stop me from speaking English so much out of class with the other students!  It was even suggested that I start in a Student residence, and then transfer to hosts, but I didn’t think I could cope with living with strangers, so I kept to the residence.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the residence, meeting so many other young people (many of whom I’m still in touch with), always having someone to go out with at night but I know that other students who stayed with hosts improved their Spanish faster than I did.  I guess it’s the choice you have to make.

I don’t think I’d realised quite how much work is involved in learning a new language.  My conversational Spanish is now pretty good and I have a firm grammar base too.  Their teachers were great and the classes were good.  Overall I had a fantastic time and made some great friends from all over the world.

Barcelona is a fantastic city to live in and the atmosphere was great.  The city and it’s buzz exceeded my expectations and I had the best two months of my life so far.  The college had a young student vibe and the location was great.  It is set just a couple of blocks off “Las Ramblas”.  You are all in the same boat – knowing this really helps those nerves in the first few days – all of us are away from home and trying to learn a language whilst having a good time.  You have to be sensible about living in Barcelona though – it is a large city, very cosmopolitan and it has it’s darker side, as any city does.  One student got mugged at night.  So just because you’re having a good time abroad, you have to use your common sense.

Overall though it really was fabulous.  I felt I changed in so many ways, not only learning a new language, meeting new people but trying a different lifestyle (one which was far healthier for me – ate some great food out there).  I loved their way of life.  I hope to go back next year and this time I’ll study harder, party less and learn more Spanish.  At least, that’s the plan!